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Along the Journey  |  

Vitality Assessment

Assessment and evaluation are critical practices for any organization. Yet, many congregations poorly assess and evaluate their vitality. There are several reasons for this:

Regardless, failing to take time to periodically and routinely assess the state of affairs is a liability for any organization, including congregations. Evaluative practices provide a corrective to the disadvantage of self-referencing: believing we’re doing a great job just because we say we are.

A church’s ministries are shaped by several factors: its history, denominational relations, size, location, predominant social class, identity, life stage, and leadership, for example. Below are essential congregational program and development areas common to most churches. Use this as a quick check-up with your staff and church leadership. Be honest; remember that critique is not criticism. Evaluation and assessment is a matter of integrity: Are we living up to our vision? Are we fulfilling our mission? Are we doing our best toward what we are called to do and be?

For each item grade yourself (A = Excellent, B = Good, C = Fair, D = Needs improvement, F = Fail) on (1) Capacity and (2) Effectiveness.

1. Leadership Development

2. Pastoral Care Ministries

3. Educational Ministries

4. Music Ministries

5. Outreach Ministries

6. Missions and Ministries

7. Congregational Development

Adapted from A Christian Educator’s Book of Lists by Israel Galindo (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 2013).

Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary. He directs the Pastoral Excellence Programs of the Center for Lifelong Learning.

Along the Journey Dr. G. & Friends